As the final seconds of Alabama’s national title win ticked harmlessly off of the Hard Rock Stadium clock, my mind immediately wandered back to the season that almost wasn’t.
Sure, I probably could have been thinking about the potency of this Alabama offense, the brilliance of Heisman Trophy winner of Devonta Smith or the fact that Nick Saban has now won six of these at Alabama.
Instead, I hearkened back to July, when the Big 10 panicked and canceled football. The Pac-12 wasn’t far behind and we were all left assuming that college football was not to be in 2020. Sports writers nation wide unfathomably echoed this sentiment sighting player safety while siting on some sort of COVID high horse.
It wasn’t always easy, nor was it always glamorous but we had a season. Meaningful games were played and some fans got to show up and cheer for their school in person. In a year filled with irritating words like “canceled” or “postponed,” the SEC managed to battle its way to finishing all its games except for two. This college football season is a testament to the gallant leadership that exists in conferences like the SEC (and even the Big 12)
While we praise the season that Alabama had in 2020, we must also relish in the resiliency shown to play in the first place. College football is America. America is college football. Why does it mean so much to us? Perhaps, it’s because football is emblematic of what America COULD be. No matter race, creed or religion, the colors we wear in the fall symbolize the ultimate congregation of brotherhood and unity.
No one ever wants to experience a year like 2020, a year in which so many trivial things in life seemed suddenly insignificant. The lasting image of Alabama celebrating on the field after beating Ohio State should provide a symbol of hope for the future.